, Volume 11, Issue 1, pp 63–72 | Cite as

Impact of Avian Influenza on Village Poultry Production Globally

  • Robyn Alders
  • Joseph Adongo Awuni
  • Brigitte Bagnol
  • Penny Farrell
  • Nicolene de Haan


Village poultry and their owners were frequently implicated in disease transmission in the early days of the highly pathogenic avian influenza (HPAI) H5N1 pandemic. With improved understanding of the epidemiology of the disease, it was recognized that village poultry raised under extensive conditions pose less of a threat than intensively raised poultry of homogeneous genetic stock with poor biosecurity. This paper provides an overview of village poultry production and the multiple ways that the HPAI H5N1 pandemic has impacted on village poultry, their owners, and the traders whose livelihoods are intimately linked to these birds. It reviews impact in terms of gender and cultural issues; food security; village poultry value chains; approaches to biosecurity; marketing; poultry disease prevention and control; compensation; genetic diversity; poultry as part of livelihood strategies; and effective communication. It concludes on a positive note that there is growing awareness amongst animal health providers of the importance of facilitating culturally sensitive dialogue to develop HPAI prevention and control options.


family poultry food security gender genetic diversity poultry value chain poultry disease 



The authors would like to acknowledge the support given to village poultry research and development by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR), the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), and the International Network for Family Poultry Development (INFPD). Furthermore, our gratitude is extended to the veterinarians, extension specialists, researchers, traders, and farmers in many parts of the world who have given freely of their time and expertise.


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Copyright information

© International Association for Ecology and Health 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robyn Alders
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • Joseph Adongo Awuni
    • 5
  • Brigitte Bagnol
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 6
  • Penny Farrell
    • 1
  • Nicolene de Haan
    • 7
  1. 1.Faculty of Veterinary ScienceUniversity of SydneyCamdenAustralia
  2. 2.International Rural Poultry CentreKyeema FoundationBrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.International Rural Poultry CentreKyeema FoundationMaputoMozambique
  4. 4.Infectious Disease and Global Health DepartmentCummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts UniversityGraftonUSA
  5. 5.Accra Veterinary LaboratoryVeterinary Services DirectorateAccraGhana
  6. 6.Department of AnthropologyUniversity of the WitwatersrandJohannesburgSouth Africa
  7. 7.Food and Agriculture Organization of the United NationsRomeItaly

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